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Unread Emails Leads to Dismissal (PA)

October 21, 2022

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In <em><a href="">Dukich v. Ikea US Retail LLC</a>,</em> the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that a defendant cannot be liable for consumer fraud or negligence in connection with a product recall because none of the plaintiffs established any false or misleading statement from defendant.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In 2016 and 2017 Ikea issued two separate recalls on its “MALM” line of dressers when it became aware of deaths and injuries from tip-over accidents related to this line. The plaintiffs in the case all purchased furniture from IKEA which was subject to the recall. IKEA notified purchasers of the MALM line of dressers of the recall primarily through email. The plaintiffs, seeking a full refund, brought a putative class action for violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (“UTPCPL”) and negligence.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">To succeed in a UTPCPL action, a plaintiff “must identify the specific act, omission, or misrepresentation” of a defendant’s conduct. Defendants argued that plaintiffs were aware of the remedies available to them under the recall and that IKEA offered them the proper remedies to which they were entitled, and as a result IKEA did not engage in any misleading or deceptive behavior, nor was it negligent in how it carried out its recall policy.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">IKEA sent all the plaintiffs’ emails about the recall to their personal email addresses, but they failed to read the emails. The Court reasoned that IKEA provided adequate notice, and therefore the plaintiffs provided no evidence that it violated the UTPCPL or acted negligently.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Brenna Jeffries for her contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="">Heather Aquino</a> with any questions.</p>


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